Cataracts are among the most common vision problems in the world, especially among older adults. The natural clear lens inside of your eye plays a key role in focusing light as it enters the eye. A cataract is developed when this natural lens becomes cloudy, which can affect vision for all distances. Cataracts are a leading cause of preventable blindness (AAO, 2014), but the good news is that there are proven, effective treatment options.
We’ll continue with our focus on Cataract Awareness Month by taking a closer look at the most widely used management tools to address cataracts.
Cataract Awareness Month: A Closer Look at Cataract Treatment Options
Many of the most common vision problems, including nearsightedness and farsightedness, are caused by the shape of the cornea. Since cataracts stem from cloudiness of the once transparent lens structure inside of your eye, treatment options like glasses and contacts are ineffective. Cataract surgery is one of the safest, most widely performed surgical procedures in the world, and there are a number of surgical options available to address vision problems caused by your cataracts. During the minimally invasive cataract surgery procedure, your cloudy lens is replaced by a clear, custom-fit intraocular lens (IOL) implant.
- Mono-focal IOL Implant – This type of IOL implant is focused on addressing distance vision, and is an effective treatment for cataracts. Since mono-focal IOL implants don’t correct for close vision, you may still need to wear glasses or contacts after cataract surgery. For correcting cataracts, however, mono-focal implants work quite well. And laser surgery can be an additional option to help with the visual requirements for other distances.
- Multi-focal IOL Implant – In recent years, multi-focal IOL implants have grown in popularity and availability. The implant procedure works the same as with a mono-focal IOL implant, but multi-focal lenses is designed to provide both near and distance vision. Whether you’ll still need glasses after surgery depends on more than the type of IOL implant you choose, but multi-focal implants are typically the best option to maximize visual functions across various distances after cataract surgery.
- Laser Cataract Surgery for Astigmatism – Astigmatism affects vision for all distances, and primarily occurs when the cornea is shaped more like an oval than a sphere. However, astigmatism can also be produced by the eye’s natural lens, so your replacement lens implant (IOL) will only address astigmatism caused by the natural lens but not the astigmatism on the cornea. During laser cataract surgery, your surgeon will use a precise laser to address astigmatism in the cornea, while also implanting your new lens.
- Laser Cataract Surgery for Presbyopia – Presbyopia is an especially common vision problem, because it begins to affect many people around age 40. While the exact age range can vary, most people will eventually need reading or computer glasses due to presbyopia. With the right combination of IOL implants and laser cataract surgery, your surgeon can address presbyopia during your cataract surgery.
A lens implant may sound a little scary, but the procedure is actually minimally invasive and takes place on an outpatient basis. Your eye will be numbed with an anesthetic eye drop during the procedure, and your Atlantic Eye surgeon will be involved in your aftercare to keep track of your progress during the brief recovery period. Why live with cloudy vision, when there are proven solutions for cataracts? Cataract surgery has an excellent success rate, and Atlantic Eye will help you choose the option that best fits your unique needs. Schedule an appointment today.